Questions of the Month: March

This afternoon I headed into the kitchen ready for a hot meal. I wasn’t in the mood for a sandwich or soup, but felt like something creamy.

I figured a batch of my butternut squash wheat berry mock risotto would make a fantastic mid-day meal.

wheat berry risotto 022

It hit the spot! No doubt about it!

I actually followed my recipe for a butternut squash cauliflower and spinach wheat berry bowl for one since I didn’t want to make a huge batch.

I changed the recipe a bit and used mushrooms instead of cauliflower and used half wheat berries and half barley instead of only wheat berries.

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wheat berry risotto 020

If wheat berries are too chewy for you, using barley or brown rice in the recipe is a great alternative. Both are fantastic and good-for-you options!

Questions of the Month: March

Every so often I notice that I receive a bunch of similar questions from you guys in the comments section of blog posts or through emails within a short timeframe. I thought a monthly roundup feature where I address the most frequently asked questions of the month in a blog post might be of interest!

These answers were taken directly from my responses to some reader emails, so if they look familiar to four of you, that’s why!

  • What heart rate monitor do you use?

The watch you see on the blog a lot is the Garmin Forerunner 305.

garmin forerunner 305

Though I personally don’t use the heart rate monitor part of the watch, I wear it to track my pace and distance during outdoor runs. Though the watch itself looks like some kind of an unattractive oversized calculator, it works really well! It looks rather bulky, which made me apprehensive when I first purchased it, but when I run with it, I don’t even notice it on my wrist.

You may read more about my thoughts on this watch in this post: My Favorite Running Gear.

  • When you say you ate “roasted broccoli” or “roasted Brussels sprouts” as a side at dinner, how exactly do you roast your vegetables?

I roast all of my vegetables in nearly the exact same way! First, I place them into a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with garlic salt, salt and pepper, seasoned salt, or any other seasonings I’m feeling at the time. (I don’t measure how much olive oil or seasonings I use, but I make sure to use enough to coat the vegetables without overwhelming them.) I then toss the vegetables in the olive oil and seasonings and spread them out on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and roast them in a 400-degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

brussels sprouts

  • Do you plan out your workouts every week or just go to the gym and wing it?

I rarely have a set plan heading into the week, but in general my goal is to strength train three times a week, do some sort of cardiovascular exercise two days a week and a circuit workout one day a week.

Sometimes my strength training focuses on total-body exercises, while other times I divide up my weight workouts and will focus on upper body one day and lower body another day. For cardio, I typically gravitate toward treadmill workouts or running outside. My workout plan changes all the time (I’m currently participating in a boot camp program), but that’s a general overview! You may see a record of my workouts on my Daily Workout Log.

  • What kind of protein powder do you use?

For the past few months I’ve been using Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard because that’s what Ryan buys for himself and I use whatever we have in the pantry. I like the extreme milk chocolate flavor.

Comments

  1. says

    I have that same Garmin and I really love it. I was thrown with how big it is at first too, but honestly it is so easy to check out my pace and mileage while running since the screen is so large. It is perfect for just taking off on runs if you know how far you want to go, but don’t have time to map a plan.

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  2. says

    ok, my lunch is good but your lunch looks REALLY good! there’s just something about cooked food that feels so much more wholesome and filling – i guess that’s why we crave it more in the winter. nice choice on the protein powder!

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  3. says

    roasted veggies are somehow soooooo much better than normal veggies! And so easy! My mom had never roasted veggies before (She always steamed them growing up) so when I roasted some at home over christmas, she got hooked! My dad is happy about that… haha.

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  4. Carolyn says

    Hey Julie – quick thought. When you mentioned that the wheat berries might be too chewy it reminded me that a while ago I tried making one of your mock risotto/wheat berry recipes and it was soooooo chewy, i kept thinking I was doing something wrong – but I looked on the bag and it said to cook for 60mins vs the 20mins on your recipe. Have you tried cooking your wheat berries longer to make it less chewy?

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  5. says

    All my friends think I’m crazy for running with my Garmin, but I absolutely love it (and, like you, don’t even notice it when it’s on my wrist!) Best piece of sports equipment I’ve ever had!

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  6. says

    I never thought to roast broccoli, I always steam it. Also, try using your broiler, it is so much faster when roasting veggies! I did zucchini last night and it literally takes 4-5 minutes.

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  7. says

    How are the ingredients of that protein powder? I’m currently using Sunwarrior but I don’t mind trying something new as long as the ingredients/stats are decent!

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  8. says

    After you roast your brussels sprouts (or maybe even before) try dousing them with ACV. It’s pretty much incredible. Even better if you mix teh ACV and a touch of honey then toss them in it!

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  9. says

    i love wheat berries..such a great texture!

    i definitely dont have a plan of workouts the week before, the for sure before i head to the gym. otherwise i feel like i just wonder around haha…i need me a plan!

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  10. says

    Love these questions and the responses are super fun to read!

    Heart rate monitor: Polar and some numbers. It’s the $30 one at Target.

    I also roast all my veggies the same – 425, drizzle olive oil salt & pepper and roast until they are, well, roasted

    I plan my workout classes & runs for the week, then wing the rest of it around what I have planned

    Protein powder: sun warrior!

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  11. Lisa says

    Have you thought of posting your strength workouts under your “work it out” tab? I like seeing the treadmill and circuit workouts in one spot but would also like ideas for strength training!

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  12. says

    I still haven’t tried that mock risotto but have been meaning to – it sounds so yummy!

    I’ve been hesitant about getting a forerunner because it looks so bulky, but I think I might just take your word for it that you don’t notice it on your wrist and just go for it!

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  13. says

    This is going to sound weird, but it was delicious. I made roasted brussel sprouts the other day and decided to sprinkle some roasted sunflower seeds over them when they were done. So stinkin’ good! p.s- I know you love apples and pears…have you ever made apple-pear sauce??? It’s amazing!

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